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Tag Archive | "Cedar View Elementary"

Remembering 9/11

The World Trade Center towers were one of the targets in the 2001 terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

The World Trade Center towers were one of the targets in the 2001 terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

By Judy Reed, Editor

Some things are just hard to forget.

September 11, 2001, was a beautiful day. The kids were in school, and I was at home, living the life of a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom. Feeling safe and secure. And then the phone rang. It was my mother, telling me I better turn on the television, that something was happening. When I did, newscasters were trying to make sense of why a plane had hit the World Trade Center. It looked like a bad accident. Only, a couple of minutes later, I watched as another plane flew into the other tower and burst into flames. I thought for a second that I was watching a replay. Then I realized in horror that I wasn’t. We were under attack from some unknown source. And I didn’t feel so safe anymore.

Most people I’ve talked to have similar stories. They know where they were and what they were doing at 8:45 a.m. when the first plane hit. The second one hit 18 minutes later. Then at 9:45 a.m., a third jet slammed into the Pentagon. What we didn’t know at the time was that each of these planes had been hijacked by Osama Bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorist group and they were filled with American people—innocent victims, just like those killed in each of the buildings. Each one of those travelers thought they were going to California that morning.

Another target was The Pentagon

Another target was The Pentagon

Less than 15 minutes after the terrorists struck the Pentagon, the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed in a massive cloud of dust and smoke. At 10:30 a.m., the other Trade Center tower collapsed. Close to 3,000 people died in the World Trade Center attack, including 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers who were struggling to complete an evacuation of the buildings and save the office workers trapped on higher floors. Only six people in the World Trade Center towers at the time of their collapse survived. Almost 10,000 other people were treated for injuries.

A fourth plane never made it to its target, thanks to the heroic efforts of some of the passengers, who attacked the hijackers in the cockpit. One of the passengers, Thomas Burnett, Jr., told his wife over the phone, “I know we’re all going to die. There’s three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you, honey.” Another passenger, Todd Beamer, was heard saying, “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll” over an open line. That plane’s target was unknown, but the people aboard probably saved many lives while sacrificing their own.

The attacks left many feeling hopeless. But the people in Cedar Springs showed they were made of sterner—and more compassionate—stuff. In the days immediately following, churches everywhere opened their doors for prayer meetings. A national day of prayer was decreed, and churches were open to help those looking for divine strength and understanding. Even the schools observed a moment of silence on that day. More people turned out for the monthly blood drive at the United Methodist Church than they could handle. A special salute was done before the Friday football game in honor of the rescue personnel lost. A separate memorial service was organized and held at Skinner Field to honor and remember victims of the tragedy. Wolverine World Wide sent 2,100 pairs of boots to New York City firefighters.

Cedar View students made this special flag, shown in the photo, which featured their hands, with words of kindness. It hung in St. Paul’s Chapel, and then was moved to the Smithsonian Institute. Post photo by J. Reed.

Cedar View students made this special flag, shown in the photo, which featured their hands, with words of kindness. It hung in St. Paul’s Chapel, and then was moved to the Smithsonian Institute. Post photo by J. Reed.

One of the acts of kindness that will live on indefinitely was created by students at Cedar View Elementary—fourth and fifth graders. The flag they created stretched from the ceiling to the floor in the school hallway. The stripes were made up of hand cut outs on which the students had written special messages such as, “I’m sorry for all the people who lost their family members,” “Thank you survivors who went back and tried to save other people,” “Thank you for donating blood, thank you for putting out fires,” “We are praying for the police, fireman and doctors,” and “I’m glad to be an American.” They sent the banner to New York City when it was completed, and it hung in St. Paul’s Chapel where rescue workers went to take breaks. Someone even sent back pictures of it hanging in the chapel. When it was taken down, it went to the Smithsonian for their 9/11 exhibit, and the special picture shown on the front page was sent to Cedar View Elementary, thanking them on behalf of all the rescue workers and one million visitors to St. Paul’s Chapel who were touched by the school’s gift of love, creativity and compassion. Those students graduated in 2009 and 2010 and can proudly say they were part of something special.

When we remember 9/11 this weekend and honor the memories of those lost, let’s try to remember more than just the horrible event. Let’s try to remember the feeling of camaraderie, of loving our neighbors, helping those less fortunate, what it means to be kind to one another, what it really means to give. I think the people who lost their lives that day would want it that way.

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Cedar View Elementary 55 meter dash championships


On Wednesday, June 3rd, all 4th and 5th grade students walked to Red Hawk Stadium for the 55 meter dash finals. It was a prefect day for running with blue skies and warm temperatures.

The final results for the 4th grad girls were: 1st place, Kendal Brown, 2nd place, Adrianna Bergman-Swanson, 3rd place, Brianna Goerbig, and in 4th place, Naliya Clark.

The 4th grade boys winners were: 1st place, Ryan West, 2nd place, Hayden Morris, 3rd place, Dylan Dine, and in 4th place, Cole Hefner.

The final results for the 5th grade girls were: 1st place, Alli Carlson, 2nd place, Olivia Endres, 3rd place, Aaliyah Calkins, and in 4th place, Ashly Erxleben.

The 5th grade boys winners were: 1st place, Carter Bayink, 2nd place, Mitch Metiva, 3rd place, Kyle Hoort, and in 4th place, Josh Vitacco.

A special thanks goes out to the finish line judges, Principal Mr. Secor and school board member Jeff Gust. Also, three high school students, Taylor Holloway, Sam Long, and Katie Schumann assisted with the organization of the event.

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Hawkeye Hall of Fame


Andy Secor, Cedar View Principal


Students at Cedar View Elementary continue a daily focus on using their “Habits of Mind.” In an effort to foster a culture of students displaying model behaviors, teachers came together forming a ‘Positive Behavior Committee.’  The committee works together to plan monthly

Twice a month, each teacher chooses one student to be inducted into the “Hawkeye Hall of Fame.”  Students have their name called over the announcements, choose a reward from Mr. Secor, display their picture on the hall of fame wall, and they put their autograph next to their picture.  Students beam as they receive the praise they truly deserve.  As students return to their classrooms, the entire student body lines the halls to cheer and high-five honored students as music plays over the intercom.  It is exciting to see students take pride in accomplishments as they reach personal goals focused on habits of mind growth!

This year, Cedar View has targeted the following habits of mind:

1) Persistence

2) Restraining impulsivity

3) Thinking about thinking

4) Thinking interdependently

5) Listening with understanding and empathy

*Look for pictures and autographs of the first Hawkeye Hall of Fame inductees from Friday, September 26th when you visit!


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Cedar View holds 55m dash championships

On Thursday, June 6th, the annual Cedar View Elementary 55 meter dash championships were held at Red Hawk Stadium. Heats were held to determine the fastest girl and boy in the 4th and 5th grade. With the assistance of Principal, Mr. Secor, Mrs. Lesley and the “Voice of the Red Hawks,” Trey Reed, the events were enjoyed by over 450 students, plus staff and parents.

In 4th grade, the girl winners were: 1st place, Abby Buttermore (Nielsen), 2nd place, Sophia Dault (Falcinelli) and in 3rd place, Cassidy Canfield (Van Dam).

The 4th grade boy winners were: 1st place, Da’Montae Barnett (Alvarez), 2nd place, Caleb Menefee (Nielsen) and in 3rd place, which was a four way tie, Nayden Krupp (Underwood), Christian Moleski (Gregory), Daniel Vaughn (Van Dam) and Trenton Snoeyink (Underwood).

The 5th grade girl winners were: 1st place, Brittany Flanagin (Luttrell), 2nd place, Katie Grooters (Luttrell) and in 3rd place, Kaylie Andres (Latimer).

The 5th grade boy winners were: Dilan Sargent (Moleski), 2nd place, Jaydon Moleski (Latimer) and in 3rd place, Miles Cartwright (Mumford).

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Fourth-graders raise money for library

Mrs. Baas’s class with Librarian Donna Clark (left)

Mrs. Baas’s class with Librarian Donna Clark (left)

The fourth-grade students at Cedar View Elementary celebrated “March is reading month” by holding a read-a-thon to raise money for the Cedar Springs Library and the Cedar View PTO.

Each student had a goal to raise $35 for the all-day reading marathon. About 54 students reached that goal, and each one of them received a Red Hawk beanie baby from the library for their effort.

The students raised a total of $1,356 for the library, and $1,356 for the PTO.

On Tuesday, March 26, Librarian Donna Clark went to each class and handed out the beanie babies and spoke to the classes. She left one beanie baby for each of the teachers to remind the students that March isn’t the only month for reading. “I hope they continue to read and come to the library this summer because we have a great summer reading program,” noted Clark. “I really want to thank the students for being so community-minded and raising the money for the library.”

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How habits of mind make a difference

Morgan Nauta, a fifth grader at Cedar View Elementary, wanted to do something very special on her eleventh birthday. Morgan was turning eleven on 11/11/11. She used two Habits of Mind to develop her plan. She deeply understands how to treat others with respect and how to be creative, imaginative and innovative.
She decided to help the Veterans of the area by asking for donations for the gift shop opening soon at the Veterans’ Home in Grand Rapids. Morgan’s idea allowed her to gather eleven large rubber tubs (rather large ones) of goodies to donate to the cause.
Morgan had a special connection to the Veterans’ Home because both of her great grandfathers lived there at one point in their lives. Morgan, along with family members, delivered the tubs to the Veterans’ Home on November 21. The administration gave Morgan a beautiful plaque made to honor her efforts.
“I felt very happy to share all of the gifts with the Veterans’ Home. It was my best birthday ever. I think it better to give than receive,” said Morgan.
“It is really good to know Cedar View has such wonderful students who truly care about others,” remarked Mr. Mike Duffy, the school principal.

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Fifth-grader raises money for breast cancer

Lucus Pienton (right) is shown here with his friend, Jadelen, in the football uniforms and the pink they wore for breast cancer awareness.

By Judy Reed

Most fifth-graders are thinking about having fun with their friends, what new video game is coming, or what they are getting for their birthday. Most are definitely not thinking about cancer or how they can help support a cure. But Lucus Pienton is not your average fifth-grader.
Lucus, 11, is a student at Cedar View Elementary. His mom, Julie Pierson, said that Lucus loves school and is very athletic. He plays football for Garfield Park in Grand Rapids on the juniors team. But he is also compassionate.
“Lucus has always been about helping people and doing what’s right for people,” explained Julie. “If he sees someone being picked on he tells the bully that it’s wrong, or if someone is hurt, he helps them up to make sure that person is fine.”
Recently, Lucus and his mom have been talking about cancer, because his grandpa has cancer. Lucus asked her about breast cancer, and she explained that’s why he sees people wearing pink and pink ribbons. So he asked his mom to ask his football coach if the team could all wear socks for breast cancer. She did, and the coach agreed.
But Lucus wanted to do more. He asked for pink ankle tape for his shoes and wrists, and then he asked if they could do posters. His mom readily agreed. And then Lucus decided he wanted to do donation boxes and collect the money for breast cancer awareness. Julie told Lucas that was a lot for him to. “He said, ‘I know but its worth it to help people.’ So I talked to the coach about this and he thought it was a wonderful thing,” she said.
But Lucus wasn’t finished. He wrote a letter to his stepdad’s place of work and asked them to donate to breast cancer bracelets to pass out at the game. He then made an appointment to meet with the CEO and President of Perrin so they could talk to him about what he was doing, and donate money for the bracelets.
Lucus set up his donation boxes on Saturday, October 22, at the last home football game of the season, and raised $137.12 for breast cancer awareness.
“I would have never thought of my son coming this far in a project and he was so committed,” said Julie. “As Lucus’ mother, I am so proud of him.”

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A special view in Lansing

On Friday, May 6th, Ms. Falcinelli, Mrs.Poll, Mrs. Smith, and Mrs. Underwood’s Cedar View Elementary classrooms went to Lansing for their 4th grade field trip to see our state Capitol building and the Michigan Historical Museum. This special trip is a culminating activity after studying Michigan history, geography, economics, and our state and federal government throughout third and fourth grades. The students are always excited to see our wonderful Capitol building and see where our laws are made.  One activity they really enjoy is lying down on the glass floor in the rotunda and looking up at the beautiful capitol dome. The Michigan Historical Museum brings Michigan’s history right before the students’ eyes.
The students who attended Lansing on Friday happened to be there on a day of a historical event. It was the day of the unveiling of former Governor Granholm’s portrait.  Some of the classes were able to see Governor Granholm there in the Capitol building.  Mrs. Poll’s class had the honor of having a representative from the capitol explain to them some of the symbolism included in the governor’s portrait. In the portrait the governor is looking past a vase of apple blossoms and out a sunlit window. Some of the symbols in the portrait include: a small wind turbine to show her work toward green energy, a Chevy Volt to show her work support of extending the range of the electric car, a mortarboard to show that she wants to increase the number of college graduates in Michigan, and a shovel that was used to break the ground for an advanced auto battery plant in Holland, Michigan.
On Wednesday, May 11th, a second batch of fourth graders headed to Lansing. This time, students from Ms. Zank, Mrs. Baas, Mrs. Nielsen, Mr. Moleski, and Mr. Gregory visited the Michigan Historical Museum and state Capitol. Since congress rarely convenes on a Friday, it was the Wednesday group that had the opportunity of a fourth grade lifetime. Several of our groups from Cedar View were honored in the House of Representatives by our very own representative Pete MacGregor. These groups were able to see the representatives at work and listen in on how they voted on a bill.
All of the students had an awesome time viewing the history of Michigan at the Michigan Historical Museum, but the main attraction was seeing how our government actually works.  The fourth grade teachers spent many hours preparing their students for this trip. No question from the tour guides went unanswered by our marvelous fourth graders. The lead tour guide at the capitol told me that Cedar View Elementary is one of the finest and largest groups to enter the Capitol and leave as the best behaved.  Congratulations to all of the fourth grade students of Cedar View for representing our community and demonstrating the Habits of Mind.

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Bell ringing ceremony

Cedar View Elementary students participated in the annual bell ringing ceremony at Hilltop. Brandon Swade, Wyatt Magoon, Alyssa Marshall and Lauryn Heukels rang the bell to mark the end of the school year.  Principal Mike Duffy recognized retiring Cedar View teachers Patricia Felter, Paul Stark, and Craig Gates for their years of dedicated service.

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Students perform living wax museum

A group of fourth graders pose as their living wax museum characters. Post photo by P. Emery.

By Judy Reed

If you want to know something about Mary Pope Osborne, the author of the Magic Tree House books, just ask fourth-grade student Aryis Crystal. Or what about Elvis Presley? Khloe Robinson can probably answer your question. Evan Galle knows all about Teddy Roosevelt, and Trevor Reed can give you the rundown on Jim Abbott, the Michigan All-American baseball pitcher who played for four Major League Baseball teams—despite being born without a hand.

These students were part of nine fourth grade classes—253 students in all—that presented a living wax museum last Thursday at Cedar View Elementary.

Evan Galle chose Theodore Roosevelt, our 26th president, as his living wax museum project.

Teacher Linda Paul explained that it is the culmination of their biography unit in language arts, and encompasses many different skills and subjects. “We’re doing things the state expects of us and making it fun,” she explained.

The students decide on a character, come up with questions they want answered about the character, do the research, write a report, create a timeline, create illustrations, and finally, dress as the character for a whole day for the living wax museum.

“The kids get really excited,” said Paul. “We start in January right after Christmas break, so it takes a long time, but it’s worth it.”

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